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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:00 PM

Do we even give a shit about unions any more?

At least twice over the past year, I've seen topics arise on DU that really make me question our commitment and support of unions.

Several months ago, during the NFL players lockout, much of the responses centered around 'who cares, they're all rich anyways'

Now with the Hostess situation, a lot of the responses seem to be 'serves them right, with all the obesity and diabetes they've helped contribute towards'.

Yes, we tend to rally around the more 'traditional' blue-collar union workers and public employee unions (ie Wisconsin). But the whole point around organized labor is SOLIDARITY. We should support our brothers and sisters who are trying to improve their situations, not belittle them because we find their profession somehow less worthy.

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Reply Do we even give a shit about unions any more? (Original post)
Hugabear Nov 2012 OP
Arctic Dave Nov 2012 #1
arthritisR_US Nov 2012 #3
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #10
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #28
amborin Nov 2012 #62
Hugabear Nov 2012 #25
Arctic Dave Nov 2012 #48
leftstreet Nov 2012 #2
slackmaster Nov 2012 #4
Bake Nov 2012 #7
leftstreet Nov 2012 #8
JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2012 #13
Hugabear Nov 2012 #11
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #35
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #14
slackmaster Nov 2012 #30
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #52
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #18
slackmaster Nov 2012 #31
Hugabear Nov 2012 #33
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #43
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #37
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #42
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #40
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #55
Robb Nov 2012 #5
discharge Nov 2012 #6
Barack_America Nov 2012 #49
We People Nov 2012 #50
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #56
forestpath Nov 2012 #9
Comrade_McKenzie Nov 2012 #12
Hugabear Nov 2012 #15
leftstreet Nov 2012 #26
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #17
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #19
Brickbat Nov 2012 #23
LadyHawkAZ Nov 2012 #27
gollygee Nov 2012 #32
Hugabear Nov 2012 #34
99Forever Nov 2012 #41
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #57
discharge Nov 2012 #16
Arcanetrance Nov 2012 #20
Hugabear Nov 2012 #24
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #21
ProfessionalLeftist Nov 2012 #22
PD Turk Nov 2012 #29
Bad_Ronald Nov 2012 #36
Spike89 Nov 2012 #39
Spike89 Nov 2012 #38
mckara Nov 2012 #44
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #45
bvar22 Nov 2012 #46
RebelOne Nov 2012 #47
summerschild Nov 2012 #51
k8conant Nov 2012 #54
Mothdust Nov 2012 #53
brokechris Nov 2012 #58
NNN0LHI Nov 2012 #59
LWolf Nov 2012 #60
99Forever Nov 2012 #63
Codeine Nov 2012 #61
upi402 Nov 2012 #64

Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:08 PM

1. Fuck the TSA.

 

Hostess fucked themselves and are blaming the workers. Just like Detroit did with the UAW.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:12 PM

3. Exactly!

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:21 PM

10. Actually, the big 3 CEO's avoided criticizing/blaming the union in 2008-2009

I was surprised by the fact that a couple of them deliberately declined invitations to blame the unions. For example, the CEO of one of the three, I want to say GM, was asked about the unions and made a point of saying that labor was only 10% of their cost and he didn't think it was the major problem. I was surprised by that.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:29 PM

28. yeah, so much easier to feed talking points to the media. why did they get massive

 

labor concessions out of their bankruptcies?

because they wanted them.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #10)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:42 AM

62. it's easy to be magnanimous when you've essentially won eom

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:22 PM

25. Are you against government workers having collective bargaining rights?

I'm sure we can ALL find plenty of things to complain about the TSA.

Their right to organize and collectively bargain isn't one of them, AFAIC.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:25 PM

48. Not against government employees workers collective bargaining,

 

TSA is shitbag organization though.

That would be like condoning pedophiles because they got together and joined a union

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:11 PM

2. The majority of members here support labor. A few freaks don't n/t

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:13 PM

4. Unions are great, but the fact that a company that makes harmful products uses union labor...

 

...doesn't make the products any less harmful.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:18 PM

7. Maybe the cops should carry Twinkies instead of pistols.

Halt! Or I'll throw a Twinkie down your throat!

Harmful, my ass.

I guess nobody here has ever heard of the concept of moderation ...


Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:20 PM

8. ...

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Response to Bake (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:43 PM

13. Now don't go pissing off the Police Union

speaking of which, even some unions can disrespect other unions.

Insularity instead of solidarity.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:25 PM

11. We are talking about labor here. Not the actual product itself.

If the company went out of business because Americans quit buying unhealthy food, that would be one thing.

But for the company to go out of business because they refuse to work with the unions, that is quite another. This is about corporate greed, not the relative healthiness of their products.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:46 PM

35. Actually it's a bit of both...

Hostess has been experiencing declining sales for years. Went into bankruptcy, sought private equity to bring them out and became a private company. Management could never get a handle on the right mix to elevate sales and pay down the $700+ million of debt. Sound familiar? Last year a loaf of Wonder Bread was $3.29 in Publix...that's crazy when you can buy Publix Premium for $1.79. Today I noticed the Wonder Bread was down to $2.29 a loaf...too little, too late.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:45 PM

14. So---you don't want weaponry produced? 'Cause if THAT ain't harmful, ain't NOTHIN' harmful.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:36 PM

30. Weaponry has a multitude of uses, some harmful but many not harmful

 

Cigarettes and Twinkies provide only brief perceived pleasure. Other than that, they're pretty much all bad.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #30)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:44 AM

52. In moderation, neither is particularly harmful

Of course, smoking cigarettes in moderation is somewhat difficult given the addictive nature of nicotine.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:58 PM

18. And yet again, define 'Harmful'. The FDA disagrees with you.

Your opinion is worthless, I'll go with the FDA that what Hostess sells is safe for human consumption.

If one decides to over-indulge in any one type of food, it can certainly become 'harmful' to their health.

But that doesn't figure into your line of attack against unions.

Long-timers just can't stay away from Union-bashing threads.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:37 PM

31. The bottom line is that the owners of a privately-owned company decided to shut down and cash in

 

They have every right to do so.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:42 PM

33. Your concern for the workers is touching

But not surprising.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:08 PM

43. All of the sudden, there's a whole bunch of "concern," isn't there? n/t

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:05 PM

37. You ignore the Vulture Capitalism that deliberately destroyed an on-going concern.

By looting it of every asset first.

You're fine with that, I'm sure.

They had no plan to keep that business running, none.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:07 PM

42. You're in favor of Bain-style fraud. Got it.

I had no idea this board was actually supposed to be called Authoritarian Underground.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:49 PM

40. So what? Let people decide for themselves what to eat.

People already know that Twinkies are nothing but sugar, fat and enough preservatives to mummy a person.

Nobody thinks they're healthy - they're a sugary snack to indulge in.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:49 AM

55. Just FYI, but you work wherever you can find jobs, and these days jobs are not easy....

....to find or keep. Let's try not to trash workers for trying to earn a living wage, or for belonging to a union while doing so.

Yes, the products made by Hostess are not the best in the world, but take a good look around....you'll find far more companies (i.e. fast-food chains) who are producing much worse for daily consumption.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:14 PM

5. Welcome to the DU labor wars.

It's called "Solidarity ... Unless I Know Better."

And I agree, it's awful.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:15 PM

6. i'm new here

 

But the reason I satarted coming here was for more info relating to labor. I would guess, no. Not too many people care anymore. If you look at how many people post responses to a labor related thread, it's very few. However if there's some weirdo F.B.I. agent with his shirt off, people are all over that. There also seems to be a lot of snobbery directed at the South and the Midwest and sometimes the working class in general on this site. The song''Common People'' by "'Pulp'' often comes to mind. I'm a lifelong Democrat but I can see now why some people refer to Democrats as elitists.

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Response to discharge (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:31 PM

49. As a society we've by and large forgotten what Labor has done for us.

Personally, I'm enjoying my Friday night off with my family...and look forward to a weekend spending time with them and getting caught up on things around the house. And I know that this time off is due to the sacrifices of the Labor movement.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #49)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:32 PM

50. I'm with the both of you. If Democrats won't support labor, who does? Where did I just hear

either today or yesterday about one of the main problems with Republicans is that they don't like labor. They don't want to pay them, therefore labor is a "problem" to them.

We are devolving as a party if we aren't at least sympathetic to, and appreciative of, labor and collective bargaining.

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Response to discharge (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:55 AM

56. I've heard FAR more people refer to Republicans as "elitists" as opposed to Democrats....

...and I would have thought the recent election made that distinction very, very clear.

I'm not real sure who may have told you Democrats are (elitists), or the reasons why they may have said that.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:21 PM

9. K&R

 

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:25 PM

12. Organized labor is great for those fortunate enough to live near it...

 

But the rest of us are working poor that can't find enough fuck to muster up about middle-class homeowners, picking between two fairly new cars to drive the kids to soccer practice.

I stand in solidarity with the people who have to decide between getting their only car to get to work in fixed, getting their abscessed tooth pulled, or paying the rent.

Organized labor can defend themselves. As for me and my class, we have bigger fish to fry.

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:46 PM

15. So I can safely put you in the 'dont give a shit about organized labor' category

I'm not a union member - but that doesn't mean that I don't recognize the benefits that I enjoy as a result of organized labor, and doesn't mean that I don't support organized labor.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:25 PM

26. I think poster was talking about unorganized labor

...the view from there

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:47 PM

17. "Organized labor"? Like union members never had a struggle BEFORE there were unions?

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:00 PM

19. Please tell me who lobbies for raises in minimum pay standards and raises in this country

I can wait.

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:12 PM

23. ROFLMAO.

Sweet Jesus. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:27 PM

27. Ah

You stand with the kind of people that need a union.

Of course, once you're all standing together, I wonder what that will make you? Organized labor? Nah, 'course not...

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:39 PM

32. The more unions get busted, the more people there are in that situation

When unions prosper, working people in general do better. Union busting hurts everyone but the 1%. They love it.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:46 PM

34. I don't understand why more people don't grasp that concept

Well said.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:53 PM

41. And the converse is also true...

... the worse Unions get beat down, the worse it is for all of us. The 1% LOVES to watch the circular firing squads as they pit groups of workers against each other. Yet, even here on this Democratic board, some of the posters not only hand them the knife with which to cut all of our throats, they sharpen it first.

I HATE scabs.

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:09 AM

57. You just stated exactly why people form unions....for protection against business owners who....

...pay their employees so little that they "have to decide between getting their only car to get to work in fixed, getting their abscessed tooth pulled, or paying the rent".

Unions work hard to negotiate fair rates of pay and benefits along with protections against business owners who think only in terms of the amount of profits they can milk from their companies.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)


Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:01 PM

20. I think people have gotten lost in the product

People aren't seeing the union side cause in our current society people hate those that are fat and anything that might eliminate having to see them gets supported even if it's the antithesis of everything we as liberals and Democrats are supposed to stand for

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:21 PM

24. Welcome to DU

And you will find that fat people are fair game here on DU.

Just look at almost any thread dealing with Gov. Christie. Although there is plenty of ammunition to use against him, his weight seems to be one of the most popular.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:05 PM

21. Apparently it's much more important that people eat brown rice & cabbage than

 

that they get paid a living wage. To some Democrats.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:11 PM

22. I do because it's my firm belief that..

...decimation of unions in the U.S. meant decimation of the middle class, which led to record levels of income inequality, and trade imbalances - all of which are economically and socially unsustainable.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:30 PM

29. I stand with the unions

Solidarity forever!!

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:53 PM

36. Apparently not if it interferes with being a self-righteous, sanctimonious douche nozzle

 

There was a time when Democrats supported unions unconditionally, but in the eyes of some, if you work for a company that manufactures a product they don't like, all bets are off.

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Response to Bad_Ronald (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:34 PM

39. That's a huge problem

We've let capitalists outmaneuver us. They couldn't destroy or even argue against the ideal of unions, but they could encourage us to fight among ourselves. It isn't consumers that unions should be blaming--it is and always has been management. Both management at union companies and management at non-union companies. Management with unions play the two-face game of blaming labor for everything while encouraging the unions to serve as defacto marketing arms. Unions don't primarily exist to make better products more efficiently for their corporate overlords.

Management at non-union shops are true enemies of labor unions than some poor slob who chooses the wrong car. Here's a little thought experiment for you--imagine if we could cast a spell that made everyone in the US like union-built cars 20% more than they do now. What happens? Well, there are only two real possibilities--the union factories will jack their prices/profit margins up until consumer demand equalizes or the non-union factories will drop prices (probably by squeezing their non-union labor even more) to the same effect. In neither of those scenarios do unions or labor in as a whole benefit. Management wins either way when it comes to consumers. The only way labor wins in this game is by recognizing that they are playing against management and that the consumers are management's concern.

Of course, in a pretend world a third option exists--the demand for union products helps push the non-union businesses to become unionized. That will never happen--management will never bring a real union in. Unions are for the benefit of the workers or they aren't worthy of the name.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:05 PM

38. We do, but it can get frustrating

Unions have been demonized, slandered, and scapegoated. Union membership and overall support has been declining. Unfortunately, the response from unions hasn't been terribly effective at reversing those trends. I know it is frustrating to see consumers buying non-union products. Educating consumers on the benefits of buying union is a good thing. Attacking consumers for choosing a non-union product is counter productive. Yes, union-made is often better--happy employees do tend to do better work, but that is no where near the point or rationale for having unions. Unions were NOT created to be more efficient cogs in the factory. They are NOT formed to give the corporate marketing department a bullet point in the next advertising PowerPoint show. Those are nothing more than the talking points used to reassure capitalists that unions aren't as big a threat to them as they may think.

Unions exist primarily to negotiate on the behalf of labor...simple as that. It is a fairness issue. Unions are about worker dignity and protection from those with the fiscal power. Unions are ideologically powerful--damn-near biblical--but that message hardly ever gets out. Instead, we mistake the union benefits to capitalists (which don't actually persuade them) with the real point of unions--their benefits to society and all labor.

The battle is not between labor and consumers (we're pretty much the same group). Unions must get into the southern "right-to-work" auto factories. When a Hostess national factory folds, the jobs should simply move to unionized regional factories (we're going to eat about the same amount of crap either way). We need to get to the point where "choosing union-made" really isn't an issue because every sensible choice consumers have is between union products.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:09 PM

44. Labor Unions Were a Product of Industrialization

Laborers have to find new ways to find SOLIDARITY in a post-industrial world.
It will be interesting to see what evolves.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:09 PM

45. DU does tolerate a small number of very loud anti-union scabs.

If I were admin or MIRT, I'd throw their asses off, and tell them this is a progressive board.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:42 PM

46. WE stand in SOLIDARITY with Organized LABOR...

Our Party leadership?
...not so much.

One can NOT be FOR more "Free Trade"
and Pro-LABOR at the same time.
The two positions are mutually exclusive.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:48 PM

47. I give a shit.

My son is in a union. If he wasn't, he would not be working now. His father (now deceased, but we were divorced) was in a union. My long deceased stepfather was in a union, and that union saved my mother from going into poverty. So I have always been pro-union.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:42 AM

51. I worked for the Postal Service for almost 33 years in Employee & Labor Relations.

I was always on the ER side and the last half of my career I dealt with labor climate. During my years USPS had a pretty combative relationship between management and the unions. I dealt with both, and with employees as well.

As big as we were, our rolls were a reflection of the diverse population we served. I saw some slackards - they exist. But 95% of what I saw was hard working people trying to do a good job. I saw the unions be unreasonable sometimes and I saw management be unreasonable sometimes. But every day I thanked God for those labor contracts, because if we hadn't had them, some managers would have mopped the floors with those employees. The unions were the only line of defense even the best one had.

I have a lot of former coworkers on my Facebook, mostly from Labor Relations. One bozo who promoted up to a District Manager for Employee & Labor Relations makes derogatory remarks about unions all the time, even though all non-union managers made better pay because of those contracts (written into the law) and he himself made a better salary. He posted this a few days ago: "Of all the bad things unions have done in recent years (they were once necessary), leading Hostess to go bankrupt and quit making Twinkies tops the list! Look at all the folks who are now out of jobs. Way to go bakers union!" Things I've read recently indicate there's much more to the Hostess mess than greedy bakers and their union (which I won't go into here), but his line that blew me away was "...they were once necessary".

I think we need them more than ever. People died for the right to stand as one for fair wages and decent working conditions. Many in our corporatist state would love a workforce so desparate they wiill accept a Chinese payscale. Many authorities say Reagan slayed the unions when he fired the FAA employees. The assault continues. The GOP is well on its way to privatizing the Postal Service right now. With that blow they will eliminate almost 500,000 union members and get to profit by privatizing USPS as well. All the crap now about companies cutting hours or laying off or closing because of Obamacare? All to deny employee needs. The Walmart employees are being very brave - listen for the same kind of tune from Walmart - I'm betting it will come.

Oh, did I say I support unions? Mark me "YES"!





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Response to summerschild (Reply #51)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:42 AM

54. AMEN! and YES!

I am not currently a union member, but was previously in AFSCME and then NTEU.

The 1% is united against us workers to siphon off the proceeds of our labor.

We 99% need to stay united against them.

The 1% are not the "job creators". WE are the job doers.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:50 AM

53. job creators want a revolving door

Of desperate people they can use, abuse, and wring out like wash cloths and then discard for fresh young ones without providing health benefits, fair living, wages, or retirement. That's why we have and need unions.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:25 AM

58. I guess my support does have some limits then

I am behind workers banning together and working to be treated fairly no matter what their work.

However, I don't own a TV and could care less about NFL in spite of the fact that they have a union. The fact that they have a union doesn't make me more likely to be interested--I just don't like American football very much.

When I go to the grocery, I have very specific tastes. Generally, I'm not going to buy or eat Hostess products--even though it they carry a union label.

I'm sad about the loss of union jobs--but yeah, I'm not going to spend my money on things that I don't care for simply because they have a union label.

What I would hope is that people who DO like snack cakes would give preference to the union made---and people who DO like sports do whatever it is that they do to support their teams.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:39 AM

59. Any more?

This site has been made up of mostly anti-union folks since I got here.

I am a retired union auto worker so I keep close track of such stuff and know of what I speak.

Funny thing is when these same people get their own ass in a bind with their unionized job situation it becomes all Solidarity! When they aren't too busy posting and bragging about their non-union made cars that is.

You been here a long time like me and I am surprised you never noticed this.

There is no such thing as an anti-union liberal by the way. These Reaganites stick out like sore thumbs and they don't even realize it.

Don

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:37 AM

60. It depends on who you think "we" are.

I care about unions.

The Democratic Party? Not so much. The Democratic Party is now the party of DLC/3rd way/corporate/neoliberal/"New" Democrats that more closely resemble the Republicans of my youth, while the Republican Party has simply devolved into a horde of psychopaths and their renfields.

The new face of the Democratic Party is not a friend to labor or unions; anything but.

There are still some "old" Democrats and others left behind in the corporate march who give a shit.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #60)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:42 AM

63. ^^^^^THIS!^^^^^^

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:40 AM

61. The only union many here support is the teachers' union.

Everything else is just too blue collar to care about.

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Response to Hugabear (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:43 AM

64. Heart & soul

Down the line, hold the line.

I've help signs and marched sidewalks, given money and sacrificed good gigs.

I hope America gets a real media that does its 4th estate duty. And stops propagandizing against it all the damn time.

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